People go into relationships having all these expectations of the other. Many are erroneous and not helpful in sustaining the connection. Here are the most common misconceptions:
1) “You complete me.” Blame Jerry Maguire but there’s been a lot of looking to another for completion since that movie came out. The way I see it, you’ve either got your shit together or you haven’t. All this completing business says you want someone else to wipe your arse.
2) You’re no longer lonely. Two lonely people does not a party make. You can be in relationships with ten other people simultaneously – assuming none find out – and still be the loneliest person ever.
3) You share everything. Again, no. This is because we are too complicated beings, however simple we’d like to think we are, to be totally identical to the people we choose. It’s likely we’d share some interests with our partners, but many more with family and friends.
4) You’re together all the time. At the beginning of the relationship and in your retirement years when you don’t have to rush off to work, yes. In between, you’ll spend more of your waking hours with colleagues and agreeable strangers than you do with your other half.
5) You know everything about the other. With time, you can know a lot. Certainly more than if you had never entered a relationship. But there will be instances in your relationship when you see gaps in your knowledge. It’s not necessarily a bad thing unless those gaps hide a different sexual orientation, a second family or participation in criminal activity.
6) You like everything about the other. I’m afraid the other is no different from the myriad of people that pop into our lives. There are aspects of them you like, aspects of them, you don’t. The only difference is you’ve made a commitment to work through your mismatched interests.
7) It’s how they make you feel. If this is the case, I hope you have a pre-nup agreement because he or she is not going to make you feel on top of the world, all the time. Obviously, if the other half made you feel terrible you wouldn’t want to be in the relationship, but expecting to be constantly in love is like expecting it to never rain in the tropics. Unrealistic.
8) It’s one big love fest between your partner and your family. FYI His Royal Highness’ family thinks I’m a rude, arrogant, snob (his words) because I want to keep our decision-making about finances, lifestyle and child-rearing to ourselves. I mean, what are we? Communists? If your family likes your partner, good. If they don’t, ask yourself why. Family is our first port of call in a storm but they don’t always know you as well as they’d like to think they do. What I told His Royal Highness in response is that, if I had been what his family would like, he’d have no house, no child and very likely, no money.